Collect clothing and toiletries
Have the essentials ready. Stock up on an extra toothbrush, towel, shampoo, and conditioner. Have some pajamas, simple shirts, and pants ready. Consider that the children come in all shapes and ages when you are shopping for clothes. Buying neutral colors and popular sizes may be best to account for a girl or boy.. Ask if any of your friends have hand me downs from their children and stock up.
Lock away medications and chemicals.
Pack things away
Be sure to keep your delicates and and clutter packed away. The room should be relatively neutral and without clutter for the child to make the space feel homey. Keep valuables and cleaning supplies away in a place only you will go to. Be sure to keep sharp tools and anything that can be used to harm oneself away. With many children from foster care coming from challenging backgrounds, it is important to keep tools that they could use to harm themselves away.
Ensure you have some common medications
If a baby, keep a baby thermometer nearby. One element to consider is having cough medicine as many of these children are physically sick when they arrive coming from unhygienic environments. If the child seems to itch their head they may even have lice and you should pick up some medication before they arrive.
Prepare their room
The child should have their own room to retreat to when they are feeling overwhelmed. Make sure the room is kept at a neutral and healthy temperature, not too cold but not warm either (unless in winter). The child may not feel comfortable right away away and react towards destruction as a way to cope with their new setting. Do not buy anything glass or anything that will break easily. Be sure the sheets are freshly washed, and the room is clean.
Get food supplies in
Pick up enough groceries and snacks to feed the new baby or child. If a baby, be sure to get formula. Try to buy nutrient dense foods and maybe have a little dessert as a treat.
Gather some toys, games, and films
You will want to find ways to encourage the child to come around. By having some games, toys, and films available they may feel more comfortable hanging out after dinner. Educational games are great to have but make sure to pick something fun up that the child will want to play and you personally enjoy as well.
Keep important documents in their own binder. It can be easy to lose track of important documents with the business of you new foster child. You can keep tabs labeled family contacts, rules for the home, emergency numbers, and etc. The blinder may include instructions on how to work certain appliances and electronics. Anything that you want the child to know include in the folder. You may include a schedule or routine so they understand how weekdays will unfold.